mCommerce – Why It’s Not ALL About The Sale

Frequently we talk about the conversion rates of mobile-based shoppers, but we are yet to look at the role of how your mCommerce store can actually play a role in consumers’ buying cycle. I’m minded to trot out last December’s figures from Google which states that 41% of those that use Smart-phones to research products actually go on to directly purchase from that device, but there’s so much more to mobile commerce than that.

Billboards, TV and Smart-phones
When Ford buys billboard advertising it doesn’t expect people to straight away visit their local dealer. When Apple advertise their latest iPhone I’m sure that they would expect only a small percentage to get online and purchase – perhaps on their current iPhone? The point is, there’s a buying cycle, every sector and product will have a general process that people go through to purchase. When you assess your current mobile conversion rates and compare it to ‘desktop’, you need to establish the role that mobile plays in the overall buying process.

You don’t need sophisticated tracking
For the vast majority of websites that don’t spend tens of thousands on sophisticated tracking – you’ll have to take Google’s word for it. Their data suggests that 37% of smart-phone product researchers have found products using their mobile device and then purchased on their DESKTOP machine. Furthermore, 46% of them found products on their mobile device and then purchased IN STORE.

Search mobile, buy desktop
We need to take a closer look at the data to really gain the game changing insight. How many of those 37% that subsequently purchased on their desktop machine only did so because they found it far too complicated to purchase on their mobile? Given that 67% of mobile users transact using PayPal, wouldn’t that entail that PayPal makes purchasing far easier than buying with traditional payment gateways?

Mobile will add sales
Taking the logic further. Your mission is to increase the chances of obtaining sales. Not offering a very easy method of purchase and forcing people on to their desktop only INCREASES their chances of being distracted by further product searches and competing social recommendations. If you consider the data from WorldPay that 39% of smart-phone shoppers are frustrated by the length of the process of buying with their mobiles, then the message is clear – make sure you have a mobile-optimised site and make it incredibly easy for your customers to transact with you – even if that means adding PayPal to your payment gateways.

People love relaxing and prefer to be distracted whilst commuting by reading product reviews. If they have the urge to buy after a positive review, allow them to do so wherever they are – PayPal means they don’t have to get their credit card where they’d rather keep it private.

Back to those figures, you’re undervaluing the power of mobile?
To conclude:

  1. Your desktop conversion rate could be artificially increased as people are RELUCTANTLY FORCED to transact on them;
  2. Your desktop sales may be directly increased by the research people have done on their mobile devices;
  3. Your net sales will be increased by having a fully functioning, easy to use mobile site.


Image © Henry Stradford

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